1. FAMILY AND FAMILY RELATIONS.
1. Why are family relations so important for people? Good family relations help you feel happy in this life, because you are near and dear for your loved ones as well as they are for you.
2. What kind of family have you got? I live with my mother, father and sister and we are very friendly, need each other, help each other, act as a team and like to be together.
3. Have you got any problems in your family relations and why? As every family we sometimes have problems, but we discuss them together and try to understand and help each other. So eventually, we happily solve all our problems, gain some positive experience and get even closer.
4. Why are there families that have constant problems in their relationships? If family members do not learn to spend time together, to share common values, to take care of each other, they will be unable to understand and help each other and that‘ll be the main cause of their family problems.
5. What family values are essential for a happy family life? Sheer love not just in words, but in deeds, mutual understanding and constant care are critical to keep a happy family life as they are the very fundamentals of it.
6. Is there any other advice you could give to people who want to have a happy family? I assume, together with other family members you should plan, arrange and work inexorably to make your family dreams come true.
7. Do you spend a lot of time with your parents and why? I did, when I was younger, but not now as I’m very busy at school, after school and at weekends. Still, we sometimes arrange our family outings, go on holidays together and I enjoy every single day spent with my family.
8. Why is it important for parents and children to spend a lot of time together? When we are together, we begin to understand and appreciate each other better, we, thus, get more to share and we better learn basic family values.
9. What kind of relationships should be between parents and children? In my view, they should love, trust and support each other.
10. Do you think children should have household duties and why? In my family I often do washing up, tidy my room and go shopping. In a loving family every person ought to do home chores to help their loved ones.
11. Would you like to live with your grandparents and why? Sometime my grandparents come to stay with us for a while and I like to talk to them about the past and, particularly, about my parents’ childhood. I also like to help them and to taste my grandmothers’ pies. At the same time, they are rather bossy to my parents and to me, so it’s better to keep a friendly distance and live your own family life.
12. Who is the top dog in your family and why? My father is a real chief, because he likes and can take responsibility for the main matters of our family life: he is the breadwinner and the CEO of the family and he husbands the family perfectly.
13. Do your parents teach you anything and how? Both father and mother teach me different things about this world in theory and in practice so I have my life lessons every day. It’s very interesting to learn the way to settle matters with people and to fix up household things properly.
14. Do you often follow your parents’ advice and why? Usually I do, because I look up to my parents, but sometimes I walk my own way if I feel like dealing with the problem myself.
2. YOUNG PEOPLE IN MODERN SOCIETY.
1. Is the life of modern teenager difficult or easy and why? My answer is YES and NO and, I believe, it has always been like that. On the one hand, every new young generation lives an easier and more comfortable life and has much more opportunities to develop, but, on the other hand, they meet a greater challenge in terms of rapidly growing bulk of knowledge and skills they should assume and the number of hazards and distractions of the modern IT society they are to face.
2. What problems can teenagers encounter with? Teenagers have a lot of problems at school, for example, teachers are not always fair to students. Modern teenagers have too many home assignments, so they get overloaded with homework, which can be harmful for their health. But, on the other side, a great number of teachers are highly professional, kind and talented. Besides, many students don’t do their homework at all and often play truants.
3. D’you think computer addiction is a problem of the new millennium? Indeed, it is. Most teens spend all their free time playing computer games instead of reading, walking or doing sports. As a result they stupefy their brain and degenerate their body and get both mentally and physically unfit. On the contrary, not all teenagers play computer games. Many teens work on computer using different application programs or get some necessary information from the Internet.
4. Do you believe that violent video games trigger violent behavior in kids? Children all over the world have always played war as their games have reflected the world of adults. Of course, if you deal with virtual killings ever so often it may hurt your psyche.
5. Is drug addiction a serious problem for modern teenagers and why? According to statistics, the number of drug addicts has doubled over the last twenty years. Drug addiction can cause serious health problems and eventually lead to death. Unfortunately, some students bring spice to our school, but we are aware of the consequences of drug addiction and don’t use them.
6. Do modern teenagers read books? Those who study well have to read a lot of text-books. But I also try to allocate some part of my everyday leisure time to reading different books. Our Literature teacher says that without at least two hundred classical books we won’t be intelligent people. But I have to admit, though, that most part of my classmates prefer computer games, Internet and TV.
7. What music do you like to listen to or to play? I can’t play any musical instruments, but I like to listen to modern music, especially, dub step. This music is quite primitive, but it’ full of energy. Some of my friends think it stupid and love pop, rock or rap. I also like some pieces of classical music, but most of my classmates regard classical music boring.
8. What do you think of generation gap? In my opinion, it’s an absolutely natural phenomenon. Every new generation brings its own style of life and it, in a way, contradicts their parents’ one. But eventually, a new generation absorbs the long-standing values of their ancestors. For example, I’ve come to like my parents’ favourite books, films and music.
9. Do you support the point of view that it’s a fault of the parents if a child commits a crime? In my opinion, it’s parents who are first and foremost to be responsible for the actions of their children and are to blame for juvenile delinquency as they should raise their progeny in the best possible way. At the same time, the older we are, the greater responsibility we must take. Besides, It goes without saying that school and society should also help kids become good people.
10. Do you agree with the assertion that young people should take an active part in the social life of the country? I certainly do. Apart from their personal development through studying, sports, music or dancing, teenagers should study to defend their social rights and to build up strong civil society in our country.
11. What do you know about teenage subcultures? I’m aware of such teenage subcultures as hippies, punks, goths, emoes and so on. Every new generation brings in their lifestyle and, thus, their subculture. But generations come and go and so do their subcultures. Nowadays most of teens do not belong to any subculture at all.
13. Do you think teenagers should only concentrate on school, sports, dancing and other activities, rather than on home chores? To my mind, if you love your people you will help them arrange their everyday life in the best possible way. So I often help my parents about the house and shopping. Actually, it teaches children cooperation, responsibility, fairness and commitment.
1. What are the benefits of sports? I think sports train both your body and you will to help you vigorously stand the hardships and trials of life. Besides, sports activities bring you an ample feeling of joy and happiness. Doing game sports you make a lot of friends.
2. Do you think all kinds of sports are equally useful and why? As a matter of fact, all kinds of sports involve overstrain and are impregnated with the risk of traumas. So you should be properly fit and be aware of the hazards of sports. On the other hand, all spheres of human activity have their pros and cons.
3. Is sport important for you and why? Sport is urgently important for me as it makes me stronger both physically and mentally and, thus, invigorate my immune system. I’m going in for swimming twice a week and get a mighty positive impulse every time. Besides, I look perfectly fit and it’s nice.
4. Which do you prefer: team sports or individual sports? Actually, I like both. Individual sports accustoms you to overcome your weakness and laziness and team sports teaches you to act relevantly in a group of people and to understand them better and in no time.
5. What attracts people to extreme sports? I assume, it’s inbred in the human race to do something impossible and to be the best of the best. Unfortunately, most people don’t believe in themselves or have not got enough courage to start up something extraordinary. I personally like extreme snowboarding when you fly down the steep slope bathing in the ocean of adrenaline.
6. Is bodybuilding necessary for everyone? To my mind, it’s not bad for a man to have strong muscles and an athletic figure, but for women, I should say, it’s necessary to look slim, slender and still to be physically fit for everyday challenges.
7. What do you think is the best way to keep fit? I believe that physical fitness is a solid precondition for your active and interesting life for decades ahead. That’s why everybody should do morning exercise, go in for amateur sports or regularly visit a fitness center. We should also use every opportunity for physical activity such as sports games, jogging, skiing, skating or bicycling and so on.
8. What sports do you like to watch on TV? I like to watch important football and ice-hockey matches as well as figure skating and some skiing events. When you behold real masters competing, you get both emotional and aesthetic enjoyment.
9. Do you believe that people do not do enough sport nowadays? I undoubtedly do. The most notorious evidence of it is the level of obesity rapidly rising all over the world. In the USA it’s already over 60% and still growing. In Russia there are almost 30% of obese people and about 70% suffer from extra weight. Actually, they get too much and spend too little calories, that is eat too much and exercise too little.
10. Should every child be put into sport? Of course, parents should offer ample opportunities to their children to go in for different sports and physical activities. Therefore, every child should be sportive and physically active to keep good physical and mental health all his/her life.
11. What are your favourite sportsman and sportswoman? My best sportsman is Pele, because he was the world’s best football player ever appeared on the pitch and my best sportswoman is Irina Rodnina, because she was the greatest figure skater, 10-times the world’s champion and 3-times Olympic winner.
12. What do you think of professional sport? Professional sport is a gorgeous world of great competitions, great achievements, great popularity and great money and, on the other hand, it’s also a world of hard trainings and events with a risk of traumas, exhausting life of everlasting travelling all over the world and practically without any right for your private life. So, all pluses and minuses are fairly balanced.
4. LEISURE ACTIVITIES.
1. What sort of things do people usually do when they have free time? Of course, it greatly depends on the person, but the most popular leisure activities are reading something or watching TV, walking or doing some sports, listening to music or playing computer games. Every activity has its pros and contras and you should learn how to balance them.
2. Have some leisure activities changed over the last years? The global IT-revolution has drastically changed our lives. The Internet-connected laptops, I-pods, I-pads, e-books, tablets and other gadgets now devour a lot of our leisure time leaving less and less for all kinds of healthy outdoor activities.
3. Will some leisure activities disappear in the future and why? It looks like we are going to forever forget about table games. Cards and domino, monopoly and draughts, chess and lotto are more and more history now.
4. Do you think teenagers have enough spare time and why? Nothing like that. The pace of life is gaining momentum and the present young generation has to digest an enormous mass of knowledge. It takes time and energy and leaves almost not a bit of spare time during the school year. The only leisure paradise comes with holidays.
5. Will people have more free time in the future? Perhaps, they will work less and spend their extra leisure time on family life, some creative hobby activities and self-education. But, on the whole, I think, you can’t live in overwhelming leisure; neither should you wear yourself out by restless all day round toils. Human nature requires a good change and a sound balance in everything.
6. What leisure activities are relaxing? I think it greatly depends on the person, but most young people like sports, music, dancing, computer games and walking. A considerable part of representatives of the Soviet Union generations like reading books and watching the old Soviet films. More and more people can’t relax without visiting social network sites.
7. What is the best leisure activity for you? I like sports, music, reading and computer games. I also like walking with my friends and celebrations with my family. All these activities arise my spirits and whet the appetite for life.
8. Do you believe TV is dying and why? Of course, TV is not so popular now as it used to be, but, nevertheless, a lot of people like reality shows or music contests, quiz contests and political talk shows. Concerning teenagers, they mostly prefer the Internet, but, sometimes, they also watch TV.
9. What do you know about your parents’ and grandparents’ leisure activities? When they had some spare time, my grandfather liked to play football or to play the war between ‘Russians’ and ‘Germans’, my grandmother preferred to play the elastic band or the small classes. My father liked to play football and ice hockey and my mother liked to play volleyball. And it goes without saying that all of them liked reading.
10. Is cinema a good leisure activity and why? Of course, it is. You can go to the cinema with your family, with your friends or make it a cosy place of a dating with your girl-friend. Besides, a big screen, 3D vision and 7-channel audio covering of the picture alongside with all kinds of special effects fully submerge you into a wonderful world of cinema magic.
5. TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT.
1. Why do people travel the globe? I think it’s very interesting to open up the world and, at the same time, you open up your new self. With advances in transportation and information technology, even the most remote areas on our planet are now coming within reach of the traveller. Package holidays have made travelling much easier. So nowadays tourism has really taken off and today it’s the world’s second largest industry.
2. What are the most popular destinations nowadays? Actually people like touring all over the world to discover the wonders of nature and civilization, but the most popular spots on our planet are Paris and London (15 and 14 million tourists a year respectively).
3. What are favourite tourist destinations in Russia? Virtually, every region of Russia is a place of interest for tourists to show the beauty of the local nature, culture and people, but the most popular places to visit are Moscow and St. Petersburg, The Golden Ring of Russia, southern resorts at the Black sea. Citizens of our country also like to visit the North of Russia, Altay, Baikal and Far East.
4. What is your favourite way of travelling and who with? I prefer to travel by plane, as it’s fast, nice and comfortable, unless there are any kinds of delay. My best travelling company is my family, because they are my lovely people who I never get bored with. I also like to travel with my classmates, because it’s very funny.
5. What season is the best one for travelling and why? As a matter of fact every season is good for travelling. I like travelling to the sea in summer and I like to visit different ski resorts in winter. It’s also possible to bathe and laze in the sun in autumn or spring on the beach in hot countries.
6. Do you prefer to travel in a guided group or to take individual trips? I like to travel in a guided tour together with my classmates or to take a family trip with my family.
7. Will the development of tourism bring economic gain to Russia? Tourism can bring substantial economic gain to practically every region of Russia by boosting all kinds of domestic industries catering for visitors such as souvenirs, folk craft, national cuisine and so on and so forth. The local and federal authorities should attract investors from all over the world for building new hotels, creating new resorts and renovating places of interest. Tourism, both domestic and international, may become one of the biggest industries in Russia.
8. What bad effects has tourism got? Most popular resorts are polluted and litter has become a major problem. Besides, many architectural and natural landmarks are slowly being destroyed by tourists. And on the top of that, local residents suffer from tourists who bring with them noise, nuisance and crime.
9. How can people solve the problems of tourism? First of all, people should change their attitude to tourism? Properly arranged and regulated tourism may bring a lot of benefits to people and nature as it gives revenues for the local businesses and budgets, sufficient resources for the wild life protection and for historical and cultural heritage preservation.
6. FOOD AND HEALTH.
1.What bad health habits can people have? What first and foremost comes to mind is coach potatoes who spend their endless leisure hours deep into the night watching TV, playing computer games and consuming heaps of fatty and sugary food and barrels of Coke or beer in the bluish haze of chain smoking. That’s a doomed road to the hell of obesity and alcoholism accompanied by diabetes, heart problems, lung cancer and a complete crush of your life.
2. What good health habits can people have? Actually, they are very simple: keep early hours, be physically and mentally active and moderate in food and drinking, eat healthy food, breath fresh air and never smoke.
3. Why is it important to eat healthy food? With healthy food and salubrious drinks (milk, compote, tea, mineral and pure water) you provide your body with a high-quality building material. That is what every living thing urgently needs.
4. Why do you think it’s necessary to have a regular health check? It’s much easier to nip disease in the bud than to conquer it at the final stage when it’s already usually too late to do anything.
5. Do you find everyday morning exercise useful and why? Absolutely, as it boosts your physical and mental energy levels up to the stars. I usually crown my morning exercise with 100 knee bends, 100 pushups and 20 pull-ups and it helps me work hard all day long.
6. Are computers really dangerous for your eyesight and why? As a matter of fact, they are. Modern monitor screens are still too primitive to offer a solid protection for a user’s eye, especially when used for hours. That’s why I try to limit my everyday sitting before the screen by 30 min. and even less.
7. Is visiting a health spa a good way to relax and to keep fit? Actually, my parents regularly visit Wild fitness and spa center and after taking their physical training they usually have a sauna followed by relaxing swimming. So they have always kept fit, healthy and full of energy. Still I prefer sportive swimming.
8. Why is it important to think about your health when you are young? The basics of your health are formed in your young years as well as your healthy life style to properly serve you all your life. So I try to stick to your healthy habits the sooner, the better.
9. Have eating habits changed in recent years and why? I think they have changed dramatically everywhere in the world, because the pace of life is rapidly accelerating leaving less time for home cooking. Yummy fast food has become the main meal for working people provoking obesity and the whole set of digestion diseases.
10. Is it good to follow a special diet and why? I’m sure, it’s necessary to strictly keep to wholesome diet: it means eating porridge, seafood, meat, mushrooms and nuts, fruit and vegetables and all kinds of dairy products. And if you still can’t escape the temptation of a fast food snack, do it very seldom.
11. What is your opinion of vegetarians? I suppose, everybody has a right to make their choice. A vegetarian diet helps against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, but meat is indispensable for little children. So I think moderate meat diet is good for both children and adults.
1. Was life better one hundred years ago and why? I guess, yes and no. On the one hand, air and water were much cleaner, biodiversity was much richer and vast forests surrounded even big cities. On the other hand, life expectancy was very low even in the developed countries (then - 46, now- about 80 years old) and mortality rate among children was very high (then – 300, now – 7 babies per 1000). People have much higher standards of living now than 100 years ago and, it goes without saying, that they should decrease pollution to the minimum rate and restore the environment.
2. Do you suppose the problem of overpopulation has been exaggerated and why? If we hadn’t exercised any social activity then, homo sapience would amount to not more than 10 million species globally today. Our social activity, though, has provided people with means of survival for far greater number of humans. Still, it took civilization almost 15 000 years to grow up to 100 million in 500 B.C., almost 2 500 years more to reach the first 1 billion people in 1850, just another 80 years to tip 2 billion mark in 1930 and 40 more years to double to 4 billion in 1975 and the same 40 years to rise up to 7 000 billion in 2015. I agree with the scientists who think that education and development in poor overpopulated countries will gradually slow the growth and the 9 billion world’s population in 2050 will shrink to 7 billion in 2100 and down to 4-5 billion in 2200.
3. What ecological problems exist nowadays? Alongside with polluting the air and making it warmer and more dirty, our industrial civilization has polluted the water in rivers, lakes and oceans, making it unsuitable for wide life habitat and household needs. At the same time, humans have halved the area of forests on our planet for the last one century alone. This process is currently on the rise with 2 000 000 sq. km of forests destroyed globally every decade.
4. What is the influence of pollution on human’s health? As we breathe polluted air, drink dirty water and eat chemically contaminated food, we are doomed to suffer most negative consequences, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. So people live much longer, but much worse now, in terms of the quality of air, water and food, than 100 years ago.
5. Do you think that global warming really takes place and why? I’m sure of it as the average temperatures on the Earth are rising higher and higher, arctic ice cap is rapidly melting and the sea level is rising threatening to swallow about 300 million inhabitants of coastal states. In the geological history of the Earth global warming and cooling succeed each other all way round, but human erratic industrial activity has triggered the process somewhat 5 000 years before the time.
6. What can people do to solve environmental problems? Under the regulations of the climatic forum in Paris every country of the world has taken strict responsibilities to cut down air, water and ground pollution in the nearest future. On the other hand, every government should adopt and implement a national program of restoring the nature.
7. What do you do to help our environment? Once a year, in autumn I plant trees together with my schoolmates. Then I try to pursue a green way of life that is to take part in cleaning forests actions, use my bicycle as environmentally friendly transport and never drop litter in or out of town.
8. What exactly do you know about 2015 Paris Summit on climate? I know that leaders of more than 200 countries of the globe took part in the conference and declared their wish to curb CO2 emissions by 20-40% by the year 2030. It won’t stop completely, but decrease essentially the process of global warming and will help prevent the planet’s climatic disaster in the 21 century.
9. What do you think will be the best way to curb global warming? I think children should be taught green thinking and green acting since early childhood. For adults, responsible green behavior in all spheres of human activity should be encouraged and heavy carbon print actions should be accused and punished both morally and financially.
8. LEARNING FOREIGN LANGUAGES.
1. Why do so many people learn foreign languages today? The modern world has become deeply connected economically and politically, socially and culturally. The Internet has accelerated immensely all kinds of international communication. All these changes have prompted more and more people all over the globe to learn foreign languages.
2. Will English become a global language? Although the world we are living in is multilingual, the most predominant language is English, followed now by Mandarin, Spanish and French. About 1 bln. people in the the world are currently studying or speaking English alongside with 400 million of native speakers. The overwhelming part of international verbal and written communication is exercised in English and about now 200 million Chinese people also speak the language of Shakespeare. This trend is caused by the leading position of the United States in the modern world's economy.
3. Do you like learning English and why? At the beginning of my linguistic ascend up to the top of this summit it was too difficult and exhausting for me to cram it, but now having gained some momentum, I enjoy learning English as it gives me ample opportunities to communicate with my English-speaking friends in the global blogosphere.
4. Which activity do you prefer: reading, listening, speaking or writing and why? I like writing my posts and reading my virtual friends’ posts. I also like speaking and listening to them via SKYPE interconnections. By the way, I urge my English-speaking interlocutors to correct mistakes in my spoken and written English.
5. What do you think is the best way of learning English and why? Of course, it’s good to learn a foreign language in the native country, being emerged in the native speaking surrounding and cultural traditions, but it’s very expensive nowadays. Besides, a highly professional Russian-born English teacher better understands your language difficulties, especially in grammar. But what is more important or, I should say, essential, is working at your foreign language and practicing it twice a day.
6. Which language is the most difficult to learn and why? Any foreign language of distant etymological and phonetic background is a real terra incognita for a non-native speaker. Chinese is extremely difficult for Europeans, but it’s getting more and more popular in every sphere of human activity as China becomes a world’s superpower.
7. What is the most difficult thing for you in learning English and why? Actually, it’s listening. Native speakers usually speak so fast and their pronunciation is so indistinct, that you should first spend endless hours in practice listening to be able understand them easily. As a matter of fact, the young and the old, men and women, well and poorly educated people speak a bit different English, even though they may live in the same area. Add to it significant territorial and even district dialectic specificity and you will realize how many kinds of English there are on the territory of English speaking countries.
8. Are you a good language learner and why? I like to learn English and know it rather well. But what is the most depressing thing for me it’s a must of everyday hard work at it. Although I realize that every skill you’ve obtained in this life is the fruit of everyday hard work at it, still, for me it’s an everlasting challenge to make me work hard at my English.
9. What exactly are you learning English for? I would like my future career and business activity to be intertwined with English as it opens up the whole world for me. Besides, learning a foreign language is making me more intelligent and flexible in mind and it, undoubtedly, contributes into my future success.
10. What is more important for you: grammar or conversational skills and why? I can’t see any deep contradictions between learning grammar and learning spoken English. You learn grammar to be able to express your ideas in the best possible way and you practice your conversation skills to be able to deliver your point to your listener in the appropriate verbal form and pace that is accurate and fluent.
11. At what age, do you think, kids should start learn a foreign language? Little children can’t remember many new words and they quickly forget them, but they can easily pick up a foreign language genuine pronunciation. Elder children, on the contrary, may learn a lot of new words and they can also possess rather a tricky grammar, but they can hardly change their faulty pronunciation as they tend to stick to their native phonemic tradition. So I think little kids should mostly practice native speakers’ pronunciation in songs and poems and begin to learn a foreign language only ay school.
1. Do you enjoy studying and why? Frankly speaking, yes and no. I definitely like those interesting lessons that some of our teachers give us. I also enjoy the friendly atmosphere of candid and hot discussions at some of our lessons. I actually hate, however, the boring lessons we, ever so often, have to stand at school. I’m also ashamed of shouting teachers who can’t find a pedagogical way to their students.
2. Do you think children should begin their formal education at a very early age and why? Russia has no economic opportunities for it yet. Only 75 % of kids under 6 attend kindergartens where they may be given a formal education in the form of games and quizzes and where they stay, play, eat, walk and sleep. As soon as every child in Russia is given an opportunity to visit a kindergarten, preschool education may be introduced and become mandatory.
3. What are your favourite subjects and why? Best of all I like History, Geography and Literature, because I have wonderful teachers on these subjects and I like reading adventure stories and historical novels very much.
4. What school subjects are the most difficult for you and why? To tell the truth, I dislike Math, Physics and Chemistry, because, unfortunately, we have bad teachers on these subjects, I don’t understand them and I’m not good at them.
5. Do you find all subjects equally important and why? As a matter of fact, I try to learn well all the subjects at school, but I can’t get good results at the subjects I don’t quite understand. Besides, I have already chosen my future profession and work hard at my favourites.
6. Would you like to be educated at home and why? Actually, I like to meet my friends at school? On the other hand, home learning saves a lot of time and energy and accustoms you to rely on yourself, concerning efficient time-planning and gathering and processing a great deal of information. These are the skills you should obtain to manage yourself.
7. Would you like to get education abroad and why? I, certainly, would. Still, first I would like to have a good education in Russia and only then take some special course abroad at a good university. It will enable me to be keen on Russian and foreign educational systems and apply for a good job either in Russia or abroad.
8. Do you think your school is well-equipped and why? I assume, it is. I study in a new, modern school with computers, projectors and interactive blackboards in almost every classroom. Our school Internet sites inform our parents about our marks and all school news. Besides, we have perfect gym, sports ground and a swimming center. We even have a salubrious salt cave and a concert hall.
9. Is Math an important subject in the school curriculum and why? Studying Math in school is essential, because it teaches pupils to solve problems by using logic, in particular, the method of deduction, a special way of reasoning to discover and prove new truths using old truths. Math also equips schoolchildren with uniquely powerful ways to describe, analyze and change the world. Mathematical thinking is important for all members of a modern society as a habit of mind to use in the workplace, business and finance and for personal decision-making.
10. Do you believe it’s necessary to learn History at school? There is no doubt about it, as history education brings a profound awareness of the world and there is no better way to gain an understanding of the present than the study of the past. Then, History teaches one how to think critically and analytically, thus developing abilities praised in any discipline, especially business-related fields and scientific sphere.
11. What social sciences do you study and what is your opinion of them? I study economics, political science, law and some elements of psychology. Every educated individual should have basic knowledge of the world economy, legal and political systems and should also be aware of different psychological aspects of social behavior to harmonically adhere to the main aspects of economic, political and social life in the country.
12. Do you suppose Literature is a must in the school curriculum and why? I’m sure of it as Literature expands immensely our horizons through a priceless virtual experience. We learn about different cultures ad times, countries and nations, social classes and religions and it helps us understand what is really interesting for us in this life. Besides, Literature provides a language model, it expands our vocabulary, develops thinking skills, bringing out reasoning related to sequence, cause and effect, character motivation and critical analysis of the story.
13. What extracurricular activities for pupils can your school offer? Among the most popular extracurricular activities in our school I would mention sports sections as swimming, football, basketball and chess and we also have different art clubs, such as singing and drawing, acting and ball dancing.
14. Do you like the idea of studying at school for 12 years and why? If I had only my best teachers giving us only my favourite subjects, that would be nice. But since we have a number of boring teachers giving us some boring lessons, sitting at school for 12 years doesn’t sound so inspiring.
15. Do you think that exams are a fair way of testing student’s knowledge and skills and why? I, certainly, do. When you know that you are going to stand harsh exams at the end of the course you try to concentrate and do your best to get high exam grades and, hence, study better and get better knowledge and skills. To beat the pre-exam anxiety you should work at your course tests every day.
16. What do you think of the new school-leaving universal examination standard (USE) and why? In my opinion, alongside with paper tests, a student should be able to speak up on the subjects of the tests and the results of such testing should be taken into account to assess the USE properly.
17. Will you continue your education after finishing school and why? Of course, I will, as I want to profoundly study my favourites – Economics, History and Psychology. In future I’d like to arrange my own analytical and consulting center on political and economic studies.
18. Would you like to become a teacher and why? No, I wouldn’t. As a matter of fact, I’m not patient enough to stand all the challenges of the profession in question. Apart from it, teaching takes a lot of energy and consumes heaps of time, so you should be really devoted to this mission to step on the field of teaching.
10. MONEY AND SUCCESS.
1. Is materialism a bad point of our society and why? Well, it depends, I would say. On the one hand, we have a great variety of different consumer commodities and services at our disposal, we don’t know about deficit of goods and have hardly ever met bad service at shops, but on the other hand, our parents and grandparents who lived in the Soviet Union, ever so often, express a deep nostalgia about the times when a lot of things were better than now. The overwhelming majority of young people that time were not materialistic. There was neither unemployment, nor economic crisis or high inflation and the government guaranteed a job vacancy to everybody. Almost all kinds of education, health service, sports and cultural activities for children and grown-ups were free. Summer camps and sanatoriums were almost free. And the last, but not the least, from 1965 to 1985 over 100 million people in the Soviet Union got flats absolutely free.
2. Do you think young people today are materialistic and why? Unfortunately, many young people dote on consumerism. They live from gadget to gadget and hardly ever long for intellectual values such as reading books, visiting museums, art galleries or symphony concerts. But most of my friends appreciate good music, literature, arts, sports and they are constantly in the process of growth as personalities.
3. Is it natural for people to think about money and possessions and why? Of course, it is, because we need food, homes, electricity, clothes, transport and many other material things. Actually, to produce any goods or service people need to spend their time, energy, materials and skills. I would like to live in the society where all the people are real masters of their professions and could provide each other with commodities and services at the best unbeatable level of quality-price ratio.
4. Can we say that money is the root of all evil and why? I don’t think so. If you earn money in an honest way, produce something good, useful and healthy for people, you may be proud of it. And then, if you spend money on something developing your physical or mental health or helping your dearest and nearest to improve their lives, you use money in the best possible way. Thus, if honest money serves good goals, it serves human ideals.
5. Is being rich the only way of being successful, to your mind? All nowadays’ mass media prompt us to say ‘yes’, but, in my view, if your big money is the result of underpaying or robbing other people, your life is a complete failure and your mission in this world is utterly unsuccessful. I think wealth should serve people and not vice versa. If you manage to make other people happy, if you direct them to the way of physical and mental prosperity, you are a really successful person. I’d like to be a rich businessman to provide my employees with good High-Tech jobs, perfect working conditions and high salaries and, at the same time, offer competitive production to my customers and donate significant sums of money for charity.
6. What should you do to become successful? First of all, you should understand clearly what you want and how it will affect your life. Once you acquire clarity of vision and purpose, determine aims you want to achieve, you should decide on moving forward, put your decision down in writing, just to keep it in focus and set the road map of actions and terms. Life is full of distractions – TV, Internet, computer games, so you should be able to accomplish what you set out to do with unwavering concentration. Willpower is one of the factors of your success. You will also need confidence and patience to work hard in achieving your goal. Thus, in a nut shell, you should be intelligent, creative and hard-working to get success in your life and very positive about yourself.
7. Do you possess the properties necessary to be successful and why? Well, I’m rather smart, but have no strong willpower yet. Not am I a hard-working nature. I’m also a bit lazy, but although, I don’t rush into acting, I usually search and find the shortest possible way to reach my objective especially in doing sums in Math. That’s why I’m always the first and the best at my Math control tests. Besides, when I’m deeply interested in doing something I’m able to work the clock round without feeling any trace of fatigue. Broadly speaking, I’m good for creative work and bad for routine one. Therefore, I think, I may be successful in programming and IT, because it’s utterly creative activity.
1. Which area are you going to work in? I’m not quite sure yet, but, actually, I’m interested in IT and programming. So, may me, it’s my way. That’s why after leaving school, I’m going to enter a good technical varsity to get all the necessary knowledge and skills for my future profession and apply to a big IT company for a job.
2. What are the most prestigious professions today and why? As our world is rapidly moving towards a highly intellectual post-industrial robotic economy, that shapes the bulk of specialists in demand for the years to come, such as computer programmers and administrators, robotic technologists and nuclear and fusion energy specialists alongside with all kinds of spiritual, mental and physical health care professionals and environmentalists.
3. Do you think it will be easy to find a good job when you graduate from the university or college and why? Well, it depends on many factors and the economic independence of Russia is the most important of them. If Russia is to rely on its own technological resources, it will need the whole army of highly educated, creative and energetic professionals in all the spheres of economic, social and political life. Otherwise, if we are going to remain the hostages of our natural wealth, we are doomed to live in everlasting stagnation and have a severe crisis every 8-10 years. It will mean to have a backward economy, corrupted social and political establishment and scarce and poorly-paid jobs and deteriorating living standards in Russia.
4. Do you suppose our hobbies can help us in choosing our future career and why? It goes without saying, because your hobby exposes your inclinations and gifts and helps you develop them at the same time. So you should always try everything you like to understand better what your strong and weak points are. It will help you make the right choice concerning your future occupation.
5. Would you like to work for somebody or to have your own business and why? Frankly speaking, I’m a somewhat wayward nature and wouldn’t like to be ordered about. Hence, I assume, it’s better for me to have my own business in IT sphere. Still, I think it would be safer to start my career working for a big IT company, gain sufficient experience and then set off for a free sail over the rough waters of the ocean of business.
6. Will you try to find a job with the help of recruiting agencies or by direct applications to some companies and why? Actually, I’ll try to place my resumes at the main recruiting portals and also send them directly to some potential employers.
7. Do you think disabled cannot work as efficiently as other people can and why? I figure out, it depends on the certain situation. Most disabled people applying for work are very dedicated and have a strong willpower, so they are more suitable to work under pressure. Employers providing jobs and decent wages for such people act most generously.
8. Do you think the retirement age in Russia will be increased and why? I think it will be increased eventually as the number of senior citizens in our country is rapidly growing and the number of the working population remains almost the same. Unfortunately, the current Russian economy is not innovative and is not efficient enough to make it up.
9. What is your opinion of the trade unions in Russia and why? Hardly ever have I heard of our Russian trade unions or any industrial actions of the all-national scale. My father told me that in the Soviet Union the rights of working people were strongly protected by both the unions and the state. Now, however, everybody is left to defend himself.
12. ART AND CULTURE.
1. Is it necessary for young people to read classical literature and why? In my opinion, it is. Classical literature has standed the trials of time because it investigates and perfectly reflects in the literary form the paradoxes of the human civilization and the world around us while a lot of new modern and popular authors come and go with their works into oblivion. Their spiritual wealth is priceless. You can’t make an educated person, unless you’ve read books by Russian and foreign classical writers, at least 100 of them.
2. What is your attitude to music? As a matter of fact, I can’t live without music. I listen to it at home and in the street, on week-days and at weekends. My favourites are indie-rock because it’s full of energy and pop-music as it’s quite lyrical. I also like classical rock and pop. Sometimes I listen to classical music, but it seems to me rather boring. Dad says, I will grow to like it in future.
3. Why do people enjoy art? Art can be a great source of pleasure in our lives. Real art reveals our feelings and emotions, Invigorate our willpower to live and to create something. Art also helps us to understand and express ourselves better. Art is bread for heart and soul. I like all kinds of art: music and literature, painting and sculpture, dancing and singing. Apart from it, I like theatre and cinema. Perhaps, my future profession will deal with art too. Art is the reflection of the harmony of the world and it’s inbred in our human nature. I can’t imagine our life without art.
4. Do you like modern art and why? Actually, I don’t like these primitive scratches and shapes in the pictures of abstract artists, because I don’t understand it and it neither moves and nor inspires me. What I really enjoy is classical paintings by Russian and Western masters as they bring beauty and harmony of this world. At the same time I like modern architecture and vehicles design and regard it as real art.
5. Which do you think is more important: art or science and why? I suppose, both are critically important for our civilization, because art caters for our heart and soul needs and science feeds our mental curiosity and makes it possible to improve our life and make it more comfortable. Actually art and science often go together as artists have always used new technological and scientific achievements to create more and more advanced works of art and scientists have often been inspired by the perfection and harmony of art.
6. Do you enjoy your art classes at school and why? I, certainly, do, cause our art teacher gives us very interesting lessons about the history and development of the world’s art. She also teaches us to draw well. Some of my classmates enthusiastically attend the art school she recommended.
7. Why do people become professional artists? Some people thoroughly feel the melody of nature and just can’t leave without the expressing of these feelings in proper artistic forms, such as music and dancing, poetry and prose, painting and sculpture and so on. But, unfortunately, ever so often they live in their own imaginary, virtual word and from time to time it clashes with the rough reality.
13. MASS MEDIA.
1. Do you read newspapers or magazines and why? I actually not. But I regularly flick through the Internet mass media as it’s more convenient than to buy some paper items. I’m interested in both domestic and international news, world’s economy and policy. I’m also keen on the Hi-Tech new inventions and the latest IT-gadgets.
2. Do you like listening to the radio and why? Sometimes I like to listen to some musical radio stations, especially, with a humoristic host. I’m also interested in economic news, so I regularly listen to Business FM. And, of course, we always listen to AUVTO -radio while going to and from our dacha by car.
3. Can people live without television and why? To tell the truth, I think conventional television has had its day and is on the fall now. More and more people replace television by the Internet and prefer social nets to TY shows. Still I believe television won’t disappear without a trace. People of older age will prefer it to IT gadgets options.
4. What way of getting information about the world do you prefer and why? I admire the greatest invention of our time –the Internet. This endless virtual reality contains the detailed experience and knowledge of humanity gained for the last 10 000 years and can cater for any kind of request in no time regardless wherever you are. The Internet now is the overwhelming source of information for people all over the world, me including.
5. What is your attitude towards advertising? Generally speaking, I tolerate advertising, unless it’s not too aggressive. I clearly realize that advertising is a way to live for millions and millions of valuable sites in the Internet and interesting TV and radio programs. Besides, some commercials are really small pieces of art.
6. Do you think young people are influenced by what they see in the media and why? Absolutely, they are molded as personality in the heat of the current mass media informational flow. They think, speak and act like their media heroes no matter whether it’s in compliance with conventional ethics and morale or not. Therefore, it implies the greatest social responsibility of mass media for what they speak and show to young people.
7. Would you ever consider a career in media and why? Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t. It’s not in my line to express somebody else’s opinions and views, push through the reporters’ crowds just to secure the best place or time for an interview and primarily only to make a new sensation or highlight or concoct a new intrigue. But, on the other hand, tastes differ.
8. Do you enjoy watching reality shows and why? Sometimes, I do, especially when they present smart and talented people expressing their extraordinary gifts. I also like to watch all kinds of humorous shows to make a good laugh. But some reality shows are a complete fake, they are poorly prearranged and primitive.
9. What do you enjoy watching TV and why? I like educative programms about nature and history very much. Apart from it, I’m interested in political and economic news and talk-shows. I also like to watch some sports events. And the last, but not the least, I like to watch cartoons on TV, because they are funny and amusing. My sister, though, likes to watch MTV soap operas about the life of young people and reality shows about celebrities.
14. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.
1. Can you imagine your life without modern technology and why? I easily can however strange it may seem. Every summer my family and I go on hike to Karelia and spend the whole month canoeing down the Karelian rivers, camping in the forest, cooking meals on camp-fires and admiring wild nature. It takes some time to get adapted to such wild life, but gradually you become to realize that you live now in an utter harmony with nature, other travellers and your own self. But, frankly speaking, such life becomes a bit boring by the end of the holiday month and you start missing your crazy urban life.
2. Does technology make our life easier and why? Yes and no, I should say. On the one hand, the humanity lives with less and less physical effort in our everyday routine, but, on the other hand, we become more and more physically unfit, obese and more fragile and susceptible to stress and diseases in this fussy changing world. That’s why I think, that regardless all physical energy saving innovations, we should properly respond to the call of our human nature for sufficient regular physical activity.
3. Do you think we rely too much on technology and why? We, certainly, do. Should any disruption happen to the Internet, we might face a global disaster. It might cause the total collapse of our transport and energy system, banking and business sphere. But we, unfortunately, drift involuntarily down the stream of social and technological evolution that is going to replace the humanity by human-like robots leaving us on the very roadside of the process.
4. Would you like to be an inventor and why? Actually, I like humanities more than Math, Physics and Chemistry, but I’m also interested in robot technics and energy conservation and sometimes think of new technologies to make the world a better place. Who knows, maybe it will be my future occupation.
5. Would you like to live in a house full of high-tech gadgets and why? Even now our houses are full of electronics that thinks and works for us. For example, in the kitchen I have such high-tech appliances as microwave oven, automatic refrigerator, and dish-washing machine. Whether we like it or not high- tech has already come into our life and is going to fill every corner of it.
6. Do you think it’s economical to use solar panels for producing electricity and why? Well, it depends on many factors such as the cost of grid electricity in the area, the intensiveness of solar power per square meter per year and the efficiency of solar panels and so on. In many developed countries solar energy use is gaining momentum and in the nearest 15-20 years about 20% of their energy consumption will be provided by solar panels. In Russia, though, currently it’s economically justified to use solar energy only in the South of the country, for example, at the Black Sea resorts.
7. What kind of house would you like to have in future and why? I’d like to live in a smart green house with all the modern hi-tech appliances, almost fully independent in terms of power and water supply and have my internet office in my study.
8. Why have computers become an important part of our everyday lives? In my opinion, traditional computers and I-Phones are now our ears and our eyes to investigate the world of the past, present and future. In cooperation with the Internet, they help us on virtually every question we should answer both in everyday life and studying. And the last, but not the least, computers are more and more becoming our universal intellect, no matter how ominous for our human civilization it may seem.